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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Excel 2002 Power Programming with VBA
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: John Walkenbach
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Salesmanship!


John, if you read these reviews, ide just like to say well done!!Ive got quite a few books on VBA but this is by far the best.Im by no means an Excel guru, but found myself being asked to automate lots of tasks in excel for a new job I had. Im a VB/Database programmer by trade and I needed a book to bring me upto speed with the Excel Object model. The book done this and taught me a whole lot more in the process. Its well presented and the examples are all "realworld" which I found really handy.Fully recommended to any Excel/VBA beginner or reference for a guru.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: ARM System Developer's Guide : Designing and Optimizing System Software
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: Andrew Sloss, Dominic Symes, Chris Wright
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The best book for ARM's firmware programmers so far


There are many books on ARM's architecture or manual references. So far, this book is the only book which concentrates on the firmware development side. Both assembly language and C are discussed, which is a relief for embedded/firmware engineers like me who like to combine both languages in a project.
The 15 chapters in the book are:
1- ARM Embedded Systems
2- ARM Processor Fundamentals
3- Introduction to the ARM instruction set
4- Introduction to the Thumb instruction set
5- Efficient C Programming
6- Writing and Optimizing ARM assembly code
7- Optimized Primitives
8- Digital Signal Processing
9- Exception and Interrupt Handling
10- Firmware
11- Embedded Operating Systems
12- Cache
13- Memory Protection Units
14- Memory Management Units
15- The Future of the Architecture
The strength of this book lies on the extensive examples on how to program ARM effectively. It is a nice guide for those who want to learn ARM programming style.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java(tm)2: A Beginner's Guide
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Herbert Schildt, Herbert Schildt
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Still THE best book for beginning Java programmers!


(Just to let you know I do not personally know and am not affiliated with the author or the publisher of this book.)
I posted a review here before. After working through part of this book, I have these additional comments:
The book can be useful to both unexperienced and experienced programmers alike. For unexperienced programmers, it might be helpful to read an introductory book on programming before reading this book (as of this writing, both "Sams" and the "For Dummies" series have beginner programmer books that are good). Experienced programmers migrating to Java will also find this book a good way to study the fundamentals of Java.
To run the programs that you make from the book, you either have to have something called the Java2 SDK or an IDE. The SDK is a tool that allows you to run your programs on your computer and can be downloaded for free from the Sun Microsystem website. An IDE is a tool that also lets you run programs, but you have to buy it from a store. If you download the SDK, you might have to set something on your computer called the 'CLASSPATH'. I think the SDK documentation explains this.
This book will teach the fundamentals of Java. The Java language is a very big language - there are lots of other things you can also learn about Java. However, before you can walk, you have to crawl. This book will teach to how to crawl.
A final thing I did not mention in my previous post was that each chapter ends with a "Mastery Check" mini-test with different kinds of questions. What is cool is that they also have questions that ask you to write mini-programs, and the sample answers are in the back of the book.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Mail and Internet Surveys : The Tailored Design Method
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Don A. Dillman
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Strong book but doesn't cover software


Well, this may be "the book" when it comes to surveys, but it still lacks a lot. First, I found the chapters on writing questions and organizing a questionnaire to be very useful. However, it looks like the author only added a couple chapters about Internet surveys, instead of reviewing his decades-old book in terms of the impact of the Internet. For example, I don't find it particularly useful to discuss how to fold a survey, or how to distribute it by mail, when it's being administered on-line!
Furthermore, this book is lacking any real scientific methodology. I suspect this is a result of the nature of the field, but survey designers should at least try to employ some good experimental design approaches. For example, this book does not help me at all to ensure that the survey actually gives me information that I need. While he does give information on writing interpretable questions, he has no recommendations on how to determine the goals of the survey, how to design questions that will address those goals, how to arrange questions in the survey to ensure good data that addresses those goals, etc. And what about statistical accuracy, and how certain types of questions are easier to measure? Any suggestions on how to evaluate free-response questions? Why isn't there an entire chapter on "How to avoid bias and inaccuracy in responses", instead of having suggestions scattered around the text?
This book has a lot of useful sociological hints on how to increase the response rate from a population. However, this isn't the most important aspect of surveys---it sorely lacks the scientific basis for the design and evaluation of the "experiment" that is the survey. Without this, it doesn't matter how many people respond, because the data will be useless.